The Best Practices of the Learning Communities 2018

Looking for good approaches to science, technology and mathematics teaching? These ten nominees for the International LUMA StarT Education Award are teachers, instructors and educators from around the world who have created and carried out exceptionally good approaches to science, technology and mathematics teaching for students from early education to upper secondary school.

The StarT 2018 Jury has selected 10 best educational practices as nominees for the International LUMA StarT Education Award out of 100 StarT best practices, and below you can find the videos describing their best practices. Three of the nominees won the main prize (the International LUMA StarT Education Award), which was handed to them by the Director General of the Finnish National Agency for Education, Mr Olli-Pekka Heinonen, at the International LUMA StarT Gala in Tampere 5.6.2018. Read more about the winners (including the jury’s comments), the prizes and the gala here.

Got interested in StarT? Register as a learning community for StarT 2018-2019 here and subscribe to our newsletter here.

Winners of the International LUMA StarT Education Award 2018

Innovation for Creativity Development Association, Suraaya Ayyad, Jordan

The main goal of  the voluntarily coordinated Innovation for Creativity Development Asssociation is to create a culture of scientific and tehnological learning, research and innovation among children and youth, and developing related skills like problem solving, critical thinking and communication. The project includes e.g. a national science fair and associated teacher training, clubs and training for different age groups and field trips for families.

MEF Middle School, Simge Sohtorik, Turkey

The project started from the concepts of ratio and proportion. The students created products containing the golden ratio, combining arts with mathematics, and determined a sale price for each. The products were then sold at a fair, and the proceeds donate to an institution chosen by the students.

Preschool group Puuhiset Satulaiva, Kirsi Rehunen, Finland

In this project, research is approached from a viewpoint that to children seems familiar and non-threatening – fairytales. First, preschoolers and their parents familiarized themselves with what a researcher needs. During the project, children worked on the topic in groups and then presented their project to each other and parents. The group has also been visited by scientists, and there is a science club for those most interested.

Kirsi Rehunen’s further commitment: STEM teacher delegate Science on Stage Finland 2015/2017


Other Nominees for the International LUMA StarT Education Award 2018 (in alphabetical order)

Junior Karasin University; ”Club 2×2″ from Children and Youth Center for Creative Activities, Halyna Hodovana, Ukraine

In this project, extracurricular activities for students and their parents were developed, giving the parents a key role in the process. Activities with good results include tournaments where children and parents solve problems together, scienctific picnics with children presenting science topics, participation in the activities of an educational scientific center and mathematical games.

Halyna Hodovana’s further commitment: NSC member Science on Stage Ukraine, STEM teacher delegate Science on Stage Ukraine 2017


Kulosaaren Yhteiskoulu, Hanna Huhtakallio, Finland

The first-year students of this secondary school familiarized themselves with scientific research by studying a phenomenon of their choice in combined classes of chemistry, biology and physics. The project was presented at a school science fair, also attended by research teams from other schools.


MTA-SZTE Science Education Research Group and Arany János Primary School Szeged, Erzsébet Korom, Hungary

The research group and school organized a teacher training workshop to combine the results of the researches and the good practices of science teaching in the school. The workshop has been a platform of a fruitful professional relationship between the research team and its partners.

S.O.S Project Schools, Nilgün Erentay, Turkey

S.O.S. (Save Our Species) is a volunteer-based project targeting schools from kindergarten to high school, researching endangered species and their local wetland habitats, aiming to improve their conditions. The activities include field trips, water quality measurements, data analysis and building miniature ecosystems. The participating schools collaborate with each other, municipalities, associations and universities in their local area. The students also create documentaries, scientific designs and experimental projects, posters as well as arts and drama works, stories, songs and exhibitions.

Nilgün Erentay’s further commitment: Main NSC Science on Stage Turkey


Team Chimera, Richard Spencer, the United Kingdom

The group took a scientific paper about paternity testing and (with help from a researcher) made it into a drama, which was filmed. The project combined skills from Science, English, Drama and Media Studies.

Richard Spencer’s further commitment: NSC member Science on Stage United Kingdom


Ylämyllyn koulu, Pekka Tarva, Finland

In this project, the groups designed, programmed and built an automated system, machine or robot out of legos and other materials, and created a photo diary and a video. The group also visited a local technology company.


1B NMS Stromstraße, Katharina Rettenmoser, Austria

In the project ”How to live a healthy life?” a group including several special needs students researched the human body, especially the digestive tract. The project included e.g. eating healthy breakfast together, baking, growing herbs, field trips to a forest, planting trees, participating workshops about animals, a dance project, participating in a running event and practicing different sports.